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In a recent poll conducted by the Levada Center, Leonid Brezhnev was revealed to be Russians’ favorite ruler of the 20th century. Do you see his era as a Golden Age, or as a zastoi?

Russian Attitudes to Former Heads of State


(Republished from Russian Spectrum by permission of author or representative)
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I think the real situation is somewhere in between the Kremlin’s position and Mark Adomanis’ and the rest of the Western and Russian liberal media’s alarmism. So as far as this is concerned, I really do think Gudkov is exaggerating, not to even speak of the inevitable and hysterical comparisons to Stalinism cropping up in some quarters.

So what if Levada registers as a foreign agent? The fact will remained buried in the paperwork. Clients won’t care, so long as the sociological work is good.

Or it can simply refuse foreign financing, which according to Gudkov himself accounts for 1.5%-3% of its total.

The only danger to Levada is if it openly defies the law, and commits seppuku out of spite, so to speak. Which is not impossible, if very unlikely.

This does not however mean that the application of the foreign agents law to it is justified. As Gudkov himself argues, political research is not politics, period. While I do think comparisons of Russia’s law to FARA are valid, on paper, the application of them is not. Can you imagine US prosecutors going after the likes of Gallup or PEW if they do some contracts for foreigners?

The reason the witchhunt is stupid (in addition to being wrong) is that Levada actually supports the Kremlin’s record. 70% approval ratings for Putin coming from a state-backed pollster like FOM or VCIOM is one thing – the same numbers from a private pollster that gets money from Soros or the NED is a whole other level of credibility, at least so far as Western audiences are concerned.

If Bastrykin was wise and aware, he would waste no time reigning in the enthusiastic lower-level prosecutors going after Levada and other non-political NGOs. I am not sure he is either though.

(Republished from Da Russophile by permission of author or representative)
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A new Levada poll indicates that after a brief infatuation with markets and “Western-style democracy” in the early 1990s, Russians more or less consistently consider the Soviet system to be the best one out there.

Russians on the Country’s Political and Economic System

Which of these political systems do you think is best: The Soviet system (the one we had until the 1990′s), the current one, or Western-style democracy?


Which of these political systems do you consider to be most legitimate?


(Republished from Russia Voices by permission of author or representative)
Anatoly Karlin
About Anatoly Karlin

I am a blogger, thinker, and businessman in the SF Bay Area. I’m originally from Russia, spent many years in Britain, and studied at U.C. Berkeley.

One of my tenets is that ideologies tend to suck. As such, I hesitate about attaching labels to myself. That said, if it’s really necessary, I suppose “liberal-conservative neoreactionary” would be close enough.

Though I consider myself part of the Orthodox Church, my philosophy and spiritual views are more influenced by digital physics, Gnosticism, and Russian cosmism than anything specifically Judeo-Christian.